Arizonans for Mindful Regulation, one of many similarly named groups seeking for pro-marijuana legislation, has gathered 100,000 signatures for its cause. The group hopes to see an explosion of growth for the marijuana industry in Arizona, aiming toward 1,600 dispensaries statewide and zero punishment for growers cultivating the drug at home.
While other groups look to increase the availability of the drug, AFMR leader, Jason Medar, claims that none of the other groups are allowing for enough liberties. Medar hopes to deregulate marijuana so that even the restrictions placed on alcohol would be more extreme.
This news comes on the heels of Governor Doug Ducey’s renewal of a moratorium on attempts to change the rules set in place for medical marijuana in 2011 by the DHS. While the government approaches the topic of marijuana carefully, activists like Medar seem intent on going full force into legalization.
The concern for many, including conservative groups like Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, is that this lax approach to policies surrounding marijuana will open the way for more criminal allowances. Medar claimed at a recent rally for his supporters, “We’re doing this to keep our friends and families safe.” But many, including respected educators, see this approach as detrimental, especially to youth.
If AFMR’s push for deregulation is unsuccessful, Medar and his followers plan to spend their energy sabotaging other groups by shutting down what he calls “fake marijuana legislation,” anything that doesn’t meet the groups standards of widespread legalization. This would benefit Medar, who, since 2010, has been a prospective dispensary owner who previously ran two dispensaries in California.
Whatever Medar’s intent, it seems that his group is prepared to attack all other forms of legislation that don’t make extreme changes to Arizona’s current policy. Meanwhile, ARDP and other groups hope to regulate a drug whose potency and long-term effects have yet to be fully explored.